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    2. Colleen Pustola
    3. ) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. Thirteen Days Over Texas 3. Did you know...? 4. Recommended site TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <[email protected]>. THIRTEEN DAYS OVER TEXAS Today's Coffee subject is from a request. A subscriber to the list, the grandmother of a 10-year old girl, wrote to me, telling me that her granddaughter was to take Texas history in this upcoming school year and that she (the granddaughter) thinks it will be boorrrinnng! So, I dedicate today's Coffee to this young girl, whose name I still don't know! :) I hope you find this story an interesting one. The story and all events are factual; the journal, its writer and her feelings are my creation, though the day-to-day events in the journal are historical fact. My intent is not only to pass along the event of what happened, but the emotions of a young girl who might have been there, witnessing all of it. You may not be researching anyone in Texas, but its history is a fascinating read, and I hope the 10-year old girl to whom this is dedicated will come away from the story with an understanding of one part of Texas history and not have found it boring For the sake of length, I'll discuss just one tiny piece of Texas' history ~ her shrine, the Alamo, located in San Antonio. But first, an overview of the situation... In 1718, by authority of Spain's Viceroy of Mexico, Father Antonio de Olivares established the Mission San Antonio de Valero, the first of five Spanish missions founded in San Antonio for the purpose of Christianizing and educating the Indians. The four-acre mission included stone living and teaching quarters for the converted Indians and a two-story building for the monks. The various buildings were situated around a green, irrigated plaza and enclosed by a thick, quadrangle wall. The mission's activities eventually ceased and, in 1793, it was abandoned. It was before Mexico's revolution from Spanish rule that a company of Spanish soldiers from Alamo del Parras in Mexico, used the mission buildings as a barracks. They continued to occupy the Mission until 1830 when it was abandoned once more, this time for a two year period during the company's occupation of Fort Tenoxtitlan in Southeast Texas. The failure of that endeavor returned the company to the fort in 1832 where they remained until December 10, 1835 when General Cos surrendered at the "Battle of BĂ©xar." In the early 1800s, few people lived in the Mexican territory of Texas. Around 1820 however, Mexico, of which Texas was a part, encouraged the settlement of Americans on Texan land. It granted them large tracts on the sole condition that the settlers would recognize the authority of the Mexican law. Word of Mexico's liberal land policies spread like wildfire across the southern United States and through the Mississippi River valley and shortly, thousands of colonists moved to the new territories. In 1824, Mexico drew up a Constitution which made Texas a separate department (state), guaranteed state's rights, permitted slavery, called for a president to be elected every four years, called for a Senate with two members from each state, and called for a member in Congress from each Mexican state for each 80,000 in population. All men, whether Indian, Negro, Mexican, Mestizo or Mullato were equal, and every man 18 years of age could vote. The Texians were Mexican citizens and agreed to fight under Mexico's flag of 1824. During the next decade the population of colonists increased at a steady pace. By 1830, twenty-thousand Americans had settled in Texas. Although the Mexican government considered these new settlers to be Mexicans, most of the settlers still thought of themselves as Americans, or simply as Texians, a combined name of Texan and Mexican. Mexicans and Americans alike had settled the Texas territory with the security of the 1824 Mexican constitution and the promise of land to call their own. For more than a decade after Mexico became independent, hardy pioneers from the Hispanic south and the Anglo north flowed into Texas. It was a frontier region for both. After some time, however, the different social and political attitudes began to separate the two cultures. When Mexico passed a law against slavery, the Texians simply ignored it. Texas was far enough away from the Mexican government, so Texas planters felt safe in keeping slaves. But the Mexican government didn't approve of the way the Texians were acting and in 1830, passed another law against slavery. It also said that no more settlers could come into Texas from the United States ~ a law which infuriated the Texians. The final break came in 1833 with the rise of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna Perez de Lebron as President of Mexico. He quickly transformed the Presidency into a dictatorship, declared Mexico not yet ready for democratic government, abolished the constitution of 1824, and overturned the land deals offered by the former Mexican government. And just as quickly, the Texians began to show their disapproval. The fall of 1835, on the eve of the Texas Revolution, saw about 34,000 settlers residing in Texas, and they revolted. Texians believed the new system interfered with their rights and it ultimately convinced both Anglo colonists and many Mexicans in Texas that they had nothing to gain by remaining under the Mexican government. On October 2nd, 1835, the curtain on the Texas Revolution rose with the first shot fired in Gonzales. In December of 1835, San Antonio de Bexar was under the control of Mexican General Perfecto de Cos with about 1,200 soldiers from Mexico. Starting before daybreak on December 5, Texans began a siege against those in San Antonio. For the next four days, against heavy odds in both men and artillery, the Texans fought. At daybreak on December 9, Cos signaled a Mexican truce. In exchange for the parole and return of Cos and his men to Mexico, the Texians gained all of the public property, guns and ammunition in San Antonio. During the siege, four Texians were killed and fifteen wounded. They gained, however, one of the most important strongholds in Texas. After losing San Antonio to the Texans during the siege of Bexar, Mexican General Santa Anna determined to retake this key location and at the same time impress upon the Texans the futility of further resistance to Mexican rule. With these goals, Santa Anna's army started arriving in San Antonio on February 23, 1836 and it's here our story begins... February 23, 1836 Papa has asked me to keep a record as best I can of what happens here, so I will try. I am frightened, so frightened. Last night, Papa moved us into the old mission with 157 other Texans. He says it isn't safe for us to remain at home. General Santa Anna has moved troops into San Antonio and demanded our surrender. Colonel William Travis, one of the commanders here, answered Santa Anna's demand with an 18-pound shot from the cannon. (Colonel Jim Bowie commands the volunteers.) This is not good. There are only a few children here plus myself. At ten, I am the oldest child, so I must take care of the others and keep them out of the way. The noise from the cannon has scared all of us and the babies are crying for their mothers who cannot come to us. Mother and the other women are helping the men by bringing them water and ammunition, making meals, and taking care of anyone who is hurt. Colonel Travis sent two scouts to Gonzales today with an appeal for assistance. I hope help comes soon. February 24, 1836 We are being bombarded! Since early this morning Mexican cannons have been shooting at the walls that protect us! The other children and I are quite terrified! Papa says nobody has been killed yet, so that is good. As long as I can see Papa and Mother, I think I can be strong for the youngers. In San Antonio this morning I saw the deadly, blood-red flag rise. Papa says it declared that no quarter would be given. Does this mean I am to perish here? Will I see my eleventh birthday? [*Massed bands played the attacking columns into action, and the tune they blared carried the same menace as the flag. It was "Deguello" ~ an old Moorish chant summoning men to the cutting of throats and implying that no man in the Alamo would be spared his life.] Mr. Bowie is getting pneumonia, has a real bad cough and must take to his bed. He gave his command over to Colonel Travis. Today Colonel Travis sent a letter addressed "To The People of Texas & all Americans in the world." [What our young writer doesn't know is that it wasn't just cannons that were being used on the walls. Heavy cannons and two howitzers were being used against them at a distance of just 400 yards from the walls.] February 25, 1836 We are still being bombarded. Mexican cannons are now sitting just across the river about 300 yards from us. I am so tired because I can't sleep from all the noise from the batteries. All the men that are able to safely leave the walls are digging trenches and piling the dirt up against the walls to strengthen them. The Mexican army has been encircling the Mission on all sides with entrenchments. We are becoming totally locked-up in here! So far, nobody has been hurt or killed from the bombardment, yet. Papa did get scratched from pieces of flying rock off the wall, but scratches don't mean 'hurt'. Colonel Travis sent a letter of appeal to Sam Houston today. Please someone, come and help us! February 26, 1836 Some of the men snuck out of the Mission today and made a raid on LaVillita and burned several homes that the Mexicans were hiding behind. Last night the Mexican army tried to charge the rear of the Mission, but our little army fought back with grape shot and muskets and stopped them cold. I heard Papa tell Mother that the Mexican army is now encamped in entrenchments on all sides of us. February 27, 1836 The bombardment is still going on. I was so tired that I even slept through the noise last night. Mother and Papa come to us when they can and it makes me glad to be able to see them. I am so scared for all of us that I think even school would be a good thing right now. On top of all the noise and fear, we now have the weather to put up with. The temperature has dropped to 39 degrees. Mother has only her shawl and Papa has only a light coat. I have my coat, but it doesn't fit either of them. Colonel Travis sent a scout today seeking help from Colonel Fannin who is in Goliad. Colonel Travis is certainly trying very hard to get help for us here. February 28, 1836 I didn't get to see much of Mother or Papa today at all. The garrison is low on food and nobody got any rest. Santa Anna's tactics of harassment are having an effect on all of us. Why doesn't he just GO HOME and leave us alone? A new Mexican battery arrived and was placed about 800 yards to the north of us. Now there will be even more cannons shooting at us! ~~~END OF PART I. PLEASE CHECK YOUR INBOX FOR PART II.~~~

    07/20/2002 09:00:26